Sebastien, one of my parents' chihuahuas, died today. :(
He was 14 years old.
My mom said in the morning he went outside as normal, but when she had returned from work, he was gone.
We've had Sebastien and his sister, Penny, since they were 2 months old.
I had just finished up a summer internship in Orange County. The internship went really well except that there was a whole lot of driving involved. I got rear-ended in a five-car pile-up on the 55 freeway. I was #4, so I got hit from behind, then slammed into a big old car in the front, which pushed me back again. Eeek!
My dad flew down to drive my car up at the end of the summer. Normally, we drive straight up I-5, but for some reason, my dad wanted to stop off in San Jose to visit his cousin.
There they were. The cutest little chihuahua puppies ever. OK, maybe they looked like little rats. But they were cute little rats. :P They were so tiny they fit in the palm of my hand. Lil' sis and I cradled them on our laps the rest of the drive up.
A few years later, when my ba ngoai (Vietnamese maternal grandmother) was very ill and then passed away, my mom was in Vietnam for months. My dad, who couldn't sleep without my mom beside him, would conk out on the sofa with the doggies curled up on his belly.
Sweet, gentle Sebastien with his placid demeanor.
The dogs have never been apart. My mom says Penny wanders aimlessly missing her brother.
Immediately after she hung up, my mom called me back and asked if I knew that my adopted uncle in Vietnam had passed away last week?
None of my aunts and uncles down here told me.
Adopted uncle was raised by his ong ngoai (Vietnamese maternal grandfather), who was getting on in years. So his grandfather asked my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) to take him in.
She used to tell me the story of how he found some money in the rice paddy. He gave her the money instead of giving it to his grandfather. She used that money to buy something, which she sold for something else, which helped her buy more things, and so on until she was able to save up enough money to move the family to our small town.
Unfortunately, adopted uncle didn't want to leave Vietnam with the rest of us and stayed behind. I didn't know him well. Just that he liked to write a lot. He'd sit by the front window of my grandmother's house in the country and write pages and pages of stuff. So I tried to send or brought notebooks and boxes of pens for him to do his writing.
I'm always ambivalent about how much to share about the personal on a food blog. But I guess, after enough years, those lines have blurred many times already.
1 year ago today, Eastern Bakery - San Francisco (Chinatown).
2 years ago today, a little rant about Blogging Courtesies: Questions, Comments, and Credit.
3 years ago today, Cherry Lattice-Crust Pie.